Trying to save up for that perfect summer vacation? Interested in buying a new home or vehicle? Maybe you’re just trying to relieve some of the financial pressure of your current situation. Whatever your reasons and motivations, it’s never a bad idea to find some ways to save money in the new year. Here are some simple money-saving tips for anyone looking to make positive financial changes in 2020 and beyond.
Plan out parties and celebrations in advance
A lot of times people think that saving money means they have to forego all the luxuries that make life so enjoyable in the first place. This is perhaps most evident when it comes to the budgets involved with planning out parties and other major celebrations. The good news is that you can often pull off your event in accordance with your vision without spending a bunch of money. The key is to plan ahead.
Planning a party involves organizing hundreds of details, from invitations to decorations, food, and activities. It’s easy for these details to pile up until you’re only a few days away from the event and you become more prone to hurry. Instead of getting yourself in such a position (which will also make you more likely to spend money to solve problems) it’s a good idea to give yourself plenty of time to plan your event. When you have a long runway for possible mistakes and errors in your planning, you can save yourself valuable sums of money and keep your sanity intact at the same time!
Keep up on your car maintenance
Cars can be quite costly in today’s world. Anyone looking to save some money would be wise to at least examine their vehicle-related habits. For example, replacing your windshield wipers can help you to avoid other dangerous factors that may lead to an accident out on the roads. Initially created in 1903 as small brushes moving up and down on your windshield, wipers have come a long way and are extremely helpful in clearing up your vision during a storm. If you want to stay safe and avoid the kinds of costly repairs that result from a car accident, then replacing your windshield wipers and other car parts such as brake pads and tires is an absolute necessity.
Of course, the rate and schedule of your maintenance checks and other fixes will be largely dependent on the quality and history of your vehicle. Your driving habits can certainly contribute to issues with different parts of your vehicle, including undue stress on your brake system, tires, and even your engine. All engines are made to last for varying periods of time. As an example, a semi engine is designed to go 1 million miles before an overhaul or rebuild. Your sedan’s engine is not. With other kinds of engines, such as those found in more common “daily driver” type vehicles, it’s a good idea to have your engine inspected every time you take your vehicle into your local mechanic’s shop. Staying ahead of these kinds of vehicle-related issues can help you save significant amounts of money as the days, weeks, months, and years go by.
Get your taxes done on time
Getting your taxes done for the previous year may seem like a monumental headache, but it’s usually best to get them done sooner rather than later. Nine out of ten refunds are issued in under 21 days, but lengthier filing times are necessary for refunds that need additional review. If you wait until April, then you will be competing with the droves of others who do the same. This usually results in longer wait times, meaning that your money won’t be in your account as soon as it could be otherwise.
If you’re not sure how to do your taxes on your own, then there are many services that can complete your tax return at an affordable rate. In fact, hiring a certified tax professional is even better for your return, as they may be able to find additional funds, credits, and tax returns that you may have missed on your own. If you have simple tax returns, then it’s quite simple to file your taxes manually online.
Visit the thrift store
Saving money is as much about finding a deal as it is being resourceful. And nowhere caters to the resourceful more than the local thrift store. Thrift stores are full of gems, whether you’re in need of some new dishware or a fresh outfit. Many people overlook the thrift store, thinking that they need to buy items brand new from a retailer. While digging around to find the best items in the thrift store may take a bit of time in some cases, it is often the best way to find outstanding deals on everyday products and items that you simply wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.
Use your local library system
When people think about saving money, they tend to cut out their entertainment costs before anything else. After all, that Netflix subscription isn’t quite as important as getting your next meal. However, many people also do not realize just how much free entertainment they can get by visiting their local library.
Gone are the days of libraries being home for books alone. Modern libraries offer a wide range of different services and materials that are free of charge to cardholders. Looking for streaming movies and television shows? Check to see if your library offers a local service that is comparable to Hulu or Netflix. Most libraries do. Interested in streaming audiobooks and music? Many libraries use services and vendors that make this easier than ever before. Of course, if you’re just looking to stick with your new year’s resolution to read more books, then going to your local library is a no-brainer. For anyone looking to save money without sacrificing quality entertainment, getting a library card is one of the best options out there!
Regardless of whether or not you’re falling behind on bills, it’s never too late to take control of your financial future. By being mindful of where and how you’re spending money, you can begin to alter your habits to create a more responsible financial landscape for you and your family.